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South & West Fishermen Told Not to Sign Fishing Master Register

The Irish South and West Fish Producers’ Organisation has advised its members not to sign up to the Irish Fishing Master Register.

“This is akin to what happened in South Africa in the 1950s and also in Germany in the 1930s and 1940s which is the creation of a Register for an ethnic minority.” said the CEO of the Organisation, Patrick Murphy.

The Board of Directors of the South West FPO told members that they had not yet seen the legislation applicable to what the Minister stated in his communication as the Act is not yet published, but that it is their belief “that this is utterly discriminatory to Irish Citizens and it should be challenged. We are currently seeking professional and legal Advice.

It has advised its members to “hold off from signing on to the Register or providing the information sought until we have an opportunity to see the actual legislation and its details.”

Marine Minister Charlie McConalogue announced that from May 3, upon the commencement of the Sea-Fisheries (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2022 the Irish Fishing Master Register will be set up “to bring Irish legislation in line with EU Council Regulation 1224/2009, which established a community control system for ensuring compliance with the rules of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) and establishing a level playing field across the EU on fisheries control.”

“Under the Act, it will be an offence for anyone to lawfully take charge of a sea fishing boat unless registered on the IFMR, whether owner of the boat or not.

“It will also be an offence for a registered sea fishing boat licence holder to knowingly employ someone as a master who is not registered as such on the IFMR.”

The Act defines a ‘Master’ as the ‘Master, Skipper or other person for the time being in charge of the boat.”

All Masters must be registered on the IFMR upon the commencement of the act on 3 May 2022.